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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Draw Mohammad Contest Coming to Dutch Parliament

Hat tip Gates of Vienna

Dutch politician Geert Wilders of the Dutch Freedom party is organizing a Draw Mohammad Day in the Dutch parliament in November.  Gates of Vienna has the details.

https://gatesofvienna.net/2018/08/the-pvvs-draw-muhammad-contest-november-10-2018/

I am a great admirer of Wilders, who speaks openly about his disdain for Islam and the threat it poses to his country. I share those views.

I have always treated the Mohammad cartoon issue carefully. While I have no admiration for the Prophet of Islam, I try to stay away from ridiculing him. I am not shy about writing seriously about his persona, especially after he became a warlord and presided over the deaths of thousands. His words have left a legacy of death and destruction that has continued from his death to the present day. Any serious discussion of Islam must include a serious discussion of Mohammad, his words and his deeds.

I am wary, however, of using ridicule in a manner that will offend every Muslim on the planet because not all Muslims are terrorists or even bad people. As a  Christian, I was greatly offended when some jerk produced a Christ in a jar filled with urine several years ago. All Christians venerate Jesus, and while our laws permitted such expression, even permitting its display in a  major museum in New York, it was downright insensitive. But with the exception of a few cases of vandalism and threats, there were no riots and no murders ensuing.

I don't believe Wilders is hosting this event to heap ridicule on Muslims. What is important to consider is that given the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and the attempt by two Muslims to kill the organizers of a similar event in Texas a few years ago, this has become a matter of freedom of expression. Disparaging a religion and/or its prophet is no cause for violence and destruction, surely not an excuse to murder. That is the point here. Islam teaches its followers that insults to Islam and/or Mohammad are punishable by death (blasphemy). That applies to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It is not just some passage on dusty pages from centuries ago. It is part of Islamic  teachings. In certain Islamic countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the courts can and will mete out the death penalty. In other places, imams and everyday people just take the law into their own hands-even in Western countries. This cannot be tolerated.

While I would prefer that Wilders host a serious debate on the question of Mohammad, I pray the event will go off without violence, which is a real possibility. This event will require a lot of security.

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